Posted On: January 31, 2010

Dump Truck Lawsuit Filed in Wrongful Death of Bicyclist

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed over the deadly dump truck crash that killed bicyclist Gregory Siemion last May. The complaint was filed against truck driver Benny Branch and the city of Grand Rapids on behalf of Siemion’s estate representative and aunt, Norma Van Gessel.

According to the truck accident complaint, Branch was driving through a narrow alley or driveway between two buildings where the visibility was limited. As he turned out of the drive, he hit Siemion, who ended up under the dump truck and street-level plow blade. The large truck dragged him almost 30 feet.

Branch told authorities he did not know that he had hit the bicyclist until he heard a strange noise and saw the bicycle and body in his rear-view mirror. Siemion’s ribs and pelvis were broken and one of his ears was torn off. Yet he was conscious and spoke with a woman who tried to comfort him following the deadly bicycle accident.

He died from a number of injuries. However, police did not file criminal charges against Branch because they said that based on their investigation, they could not determine who was responsible for the deadly truck crash.

The dump truck accident lawsuit contends that the truck driver should have known that the road was one frequently used by drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists and that he could have driven down another road where visibility was better. The complaint cited 21 work-related driving accidents that Branch was involved in over the past 15 years.

The Secretary of State’s Office says the dump truck driver has a clean driving record at this time.

Dump Truck Accidents
Chicago, Illinois dump truck accidents can result in serious injuries. In many dump truck crashes, the truck may have a hard time staying upright. It is also harder for dump truck drivers to see everyone around them or maneuver their vehicles to avoid a truck crash.

Fatal crash lawsuit cites 21 driving incidents against City of Grand Rapids driver,, January 30, 2010

Dead Bicyclist's Family Sues City Of Grand Rapids & Dump Truck Driver, Fox 17 Online, January 30, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Truck Safety Coalition

Fatality Analysis Reporting System

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Posted On: January 27, 2010

Tractor-Trailer Crash Involving Chicago-Area Van Kills Two People and Injures 17 Others

A catastrophic tractor-trailer accident involving a van carrying a family headed back to Chicago has claimed the lives of two people while injuring 17 others. The deadly truck crash occurred at around 3:30 am today close to Edinburgh in Shelby County.

According to witnesses, the 2007 Freightliner and the 2010 Chevrolet passenger van were both going north on Interstate 65 when the van attempted to drive onto the shoulder. The blue truck, which one person says appears to have been weaving, hit the van from the rear, which caused the smaller vehicle to drive off the road, where it turned over.

Two of the van’s passengers, Sujal D. Patel and Vijay R. Patel, both 20, were pronounced dead at the truck crash site. 16 other van passengers were transported to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Several of the truck crash victims are children. While some of the van passengers sustained minor scratches, other passengers sustained serious injuries. The tractor-trailer driver was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his minor injuries.

Following the deadly tractor-trailer crash, the portion of Interstate 65 where the accident happened was shut down for five hours. An investigation is being conducted to determine what caused the deadly semi-truck crash.

Large Truck Accidents
If you were involved in Chicago tractor-trailer accident that you believe was the other party’s fault, you should contact a Cook County truck accident attorney immediately. There may be multiple parties that you should sue for Chicago, Illinois personal injury or wrongful death. This is not the type of injury case that you should handle without legal help.

Two dead in interstate accident, WTHR, January 25, 2010

Truck strikes van carrying Chicago-area family, killing 2, Chicago Breaking News, January 24, 2010

Related Web Resource:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Continue reading " Tractor-Trailer Crash Involving Chicago-Area Van Kills Two People and Injures 17 Others " »

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Posted On: January 24, 2010

Man’s Brother and Mother Sue Con-Way Freight and Trucker Over Semi-Truck Crash that Killed Family

The brother and mother of Brian Workman are suing trucking company Con-Way Freight and commercial truck driver Forest E. Stover for wrongful death. They filed Lake County truck accident lawsuit last week. Workman, 33, his wife Joanna, 31 and their three children, Ryan, 1, Tyler, 8, and Ashley, 13, were killed on June 26, 2009.

The deadly large truck crash happened at around 4am on I-65 close to US 231 when their pickup truck was smashed between two semi-trailers as traffic slowed. Stover, who was unable to stop in time, rear-ended the Workmans' pickup truck with his semi-truck, pushing it into the other large truck. Stover's semi-trailer was transporting 65,000 pounds of cargo, while the truck in front of the Workman's vehicle contained a load of coil rod weighing about 50,000 pounds. Following the collision, pickup truck caught fire.

The Lake County coroner said each family member died from blunt force trauma. They also sustained serious burn injuries on their bodies. The Workmans were going on a trip to see Brian’s mother and visit Disney World when the catastrophic truck accident happened.

Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuits
Losing someone you love—let alone multiple family members—in a traffic crash is tragic and ruins the lives of the victims and surviving relatives. It is all the more devastating to know that your loved ones would still be alive today if it weren't for another party’s negligent or careless actions—even if there was no malice intended.

Truck drivers are aware that the size and weight of their vehicles can place smaller vehicles at a disadvantage during a a truck collision. This is one of the many reasons why truckers must drive carefully and pay attention to the road and traffic around them.

Because so many truck crashes occur every year, trucking companies are prepared to deal with liability claims. You do not want to try pursuing Illinois wrongful death compensation from a negligent trucking company without legal help.

Mother, brother sue trucker, company, say driver was negligent,, January 23, 2010

Fiery Crash Kills Mom, Dad, 3 Kids on Interstate, NBC Chicago, June 26, 2009

Related Web Resources:
The Dangers of Large Trucks, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

Truck Accidents, Justia

Continue reading " Man’s Brother and Mother Sue Con-Way Freight and Trucker Over Semi-Truck Crash that Killed Family " »

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Posted On: January 22, 2010

Chicago Trucker in Tractor-Trailer Crash Involving Special Needs Bus Was Speeding

According to investigators, Chicago truck driver Zygmunt Wieckowski was speeding when he lost control of his tractor-trailer on snow-slick roads and struck a special needs bus on January 6. Seven people were injured and four people died.

The fatal tractor-trailer collision happened on Interstate Highway 70 when the large truck formed a jackknife, crossing over the median to meet oncoming traffic. Killed in the truck crash were bus passengers Kenny Fry, Alonson Ruffin, Traci Williams, and Lonnie Acton. Six other bus passengers were injured. Wieckowski, a Chicago resident, was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Jackknife Truck Crashes
Truck driver inattention, distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving, talking on the cell phone, and truck part malfunctions can force the trucker to suddenly step on the brakes, causing the vehicle to jackknife into a V formation, block the road, and strike approaching vehicles. This type of truck collision can prove catastrophic for other motorists, who may find it impossible to avoid colliding with this massive vehicle that has suddenly come swinging at them. Jackknife truck collisions can involve multiple vehicles, causing pileups and resulting in numerous fatalities and injuries.

Speeding, the factor cited in this particular truck crash, always increases the chances of a motor vehicle crash occurring. This is why it is so important for large truck drivers to pay attention and abide by the speed limit. It is usually the other motorists and pedestrians that suffer because a trucker did not follow traffic laws or was negligent in other ways.

4 dead when Chicago trucker jackknifes, hits van in Ohio,, January 8, 2010

Truck speed cited in crash with special needs bus, Washington Post, January 22, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Trucking Accidents Caused by Driver Error, Nolo

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Posted On: January 19, 2010

Woman Sues Mack Truck Driver and Trucking Company for Illinois Truck Crash Injuries

A woman who says she was injured in an Illinois truck crash on December 9, 2008 is suing Brutto Truck Services and Paul Bussett for personal injury. Elizabeth Callendar is seeking over $100,000 plus costs.

Callendar claims her 1998 Oldsmobile Achieva was sideswiped by the large truck that Bussett was driving. The two vehicles were going in the same direction in Granite City when the truck collision happened.

As a result of her Illinois truck injuries, Callendar says she sustained permanent and temporary injuries, which have prevented her from fulfilling her usual responsibilities. She also incurred medical costs. She is accusing Bussett of failing to drive in a single lane, failing to brake, failing to exercise proper control, failing to keep a proper lookout, and driving too fast.

Side Impact Collisions
This usually involves a vehicle striking the side of another auto. This can prove fatal, as most vehicle safety features are concentrated in the vehicles’ front and rear sides. Bodily injury and spinal cord injuries are not uncommon during side impact accidents.

Illinois Truck Accident Cases
Most trucking companies are equipped to successfully fend off injury claims and limit their liability. You don’t want to take on a trucking company without speaking with an experienced Chicago truck crash law firm first. You may be able to sue a trucking company and a negligent truck driver for personal injury or, if you have lost a loved on in a trucking crash, you may have grounds for filing an Illinois wrongful death complaint.

Steps that you can take when you or your loved one has been injured in a truck crash:
• Document as much as you can about the collision
• Gather contact information of those involved in the crash
• Write down names and contact information of accident witnesses
• Call a Chicago, Illinois truck accident lawyer
• DON’T talk to the trucking company or its insurer
• DON’T settle your injury claim without consulting with your attorney.

Mack truck driver sideswipes Achieva, suit claims, The Record, January 7, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Side impact crash testing/ratings criteria,

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Posted On: January 14, 2010

Two Injured Motorcycle Riders File Illinois Tractor Accident Lawsuit

A husband and wife are suing a tractor driver for Illinois personal injury. Jason and Kimberly Brown were riding a Big Dog Ridgeback motorcycle on Illinois Route 159 on November 8, 2009 in Madison County when they were involved in a tractor crash with Charles H. Kassing, who was operating a 78 John Deere 2240 tractor.

According to the plaintiffs, Jason had moved into the left lane and was attempting to pass the tractor when Kassing illegally drove in front of his motorcycle. The couple's Illinois truck accident lawsuit accuses Kassing of failing to exert proper control, maintain a proper lookout, brake, signal when turning left, activate his vehicle’s blinkers, and recognize the autos in the left lane that were legally trying to pass his tractor.

Jason says he injured his body, elbow, foot, knee, and leg in the Illinois tractor crash. Kimberly claims she injured her body, foot, wrist, leg, and head. The Brewers are seeking over $200,000 in damages for medical expenses and the loss of the ability to fulfill their regular responsibilities. They also are claiming damage for losing each other’s companionship, services, consortium, and society as a result of the tractor-motorcycle accident.

Illinois Tractor-Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcyclists are always the ones at a disadvantage during a collision with any vehicle—especially if the motor vehicle is a tractor, an 18-wheeler truck, a semi-truck, a tractor-trailer, or another large truck. Unlike the occupants of trucks, tractors, vans, buses, SUV’s, and passenger cars, motorcycle riders don’t have the body of a vehicle around them as protection during a traffic crash. Their bodies are also more likely to get slammed against the other vehicle or thrown off their bikes and onto the ground or into oncoming traffic. Injuries during a motorcycle-truck crash can include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, internal injuries, broken bones, organ damage, and death.

Motorcylist claims tractor driver pulled out during attempted pass, The Record, January 7, 2010

Motorcycle Accident Overview, Justia

Related Web Resource:
Trucking Accidents: Common Causes & Liability, Nolo

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Posted On: January 11, 2010

Aurora Man Sustains Facial Injuries When Ice From Semi-Truck Falls through His Car Windshield

Peter Morano underwent facial surgery last week for injuries he sustained when a sheet of ice fell from a semi-truck crashed through his vehicle’s windshield. The Aurora injury accident happened between Illinois Route 59 and Eola Road last Monday morning. The ice came off the commercial vehicle, which was covered with a foot-and-a-half of ice and snow, as it drove under a viaduct.

Morano compares what happened to an “explosion,” with “blood and glass everywhere.” He says that as he stopped his vehicle, other motorists rushed from their cars with rags to help stop the bleeding from his wounds. According to the Chicago Tribune, the truck driver kept on driving.

Doctors were concerned that the violent impact may have given Morano a traumatic brain injury, but tests results fortunately show otherwise. However, his nose, which was broken and smashed in a number of places, had to be reconstructed. He also shattered the orbital, which is under his left eye socket, and glass bits tore his iris and cut his eyelid. He may have permanent vision damage. Morano had to have stitches on his face.

His wife Debbie says other people she has talked to have experienced ice flying off motor vehicles. She doesn’t see why a commercial truck can’t be de-iced.

Currently, there is no law mandating that people remove the ice from their autos. However, snow on top of vehicles has proven to be dangerous on more than one occasion. In 2005, a woman died after a 9-foot ice piece came off an 18-wheeler truck, striking another truck’s windshield. The impact of the crash caused the second truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, which then collided into the woman’s auto.

Ice shatters man's face while driving in Aurora, Chicago Sun-Times, January 7, 2010

Aurora driver seriously hurt in ice accident, Chicago Tribune, January 7, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Driving in Snow and Ice, The Weather Channel

Continue reading " Aurora Man Sustains Facial Injuries When Ice From Semi-Truck Falls through His Car Windshield " »

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Posted On: January 6, 2010

Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit Seeks Wrongful Death Recovery for Children of Motorcyclist

The guardian of minors Brittany and Mark Weihe is suing semi-tractor driver James Berna and trucking company Driver Logistics for the wrongful death of the siblings' father, James Weihe. The Illinois truck accident lawsuit is seeking a judgment of over $100,000.

According to the civil complaint, Berna’s large truck struck James’s motorcycle at the intersection of Illinois State Route 127 and Interstate 64 on November 23, 2006. James died from his motorcycle injuries.

The wrongful death complaint is seeking damages for the children’s loss of their father’s services, society, and support, as well as compensation for personal and pecuniary losses. The siblings’ guardian blames the truck driver for failing to yield the right-of-way, failing to control the vehicle, and failing to keep a proper lookout.

Losing a Parent in an Illinois Wrongful Death Accident
No child should ever have to lose a parent in a tragic accident. The emotional loss, the loss of companionship, loss of support, and the loss of an important guide and loved one can cause serious emotional injury to a child’s well-being, sense of safety, and identity.

A parent's death can also lead to loss of financial support and benefits for the child. While filing a wrongful death claim won’t bring a child's mother or father back, it can help provide financial support for the child's care, education, and upbringing, as well as help pay for the deceased parent's funeral and burial costs and related medical expenses. Illinois wrongful death compensation also allows holds the liable party accountable for negligence.

Minors cannot file their own Chicago truck crash lawsuits. However, a parent or guardian can file the complaint on their behalf.

Trucking company and driver named in wrongful death complaint, The Record, January 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Wrongful Death, Nolo

The Large Truck Causation Study

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Posted On: January 5, 2010

Trucker Injured by Flatbed Truck Settles Truck Crash Lawsuit for $2.5 Million

A driver who sustained traumatic brain injuries during a work accident has settled his truck crash claim for $2.5 million. The truck accident lawsuit against the other truck driver’s employer was settled after mediation.

The truck driver plaintiff got hurt in September 2005 after his delivery truck broke down. He drove his vehicle off US Route 50 and parked it past the entrance of a business.

The truck driver was working in his vehicle and waiting for help when a flatbed truck drove off the business’s premise, striking the worker’s truck. The worker fell from his truck’s console and his head struck the windshield.

The work accident exacerbated the truck driver’s Chiari Malformations, a pre-existing neurological condition, and he started experiencing facial numbness, serious headaches, swallowing problems, vision problems, ringing in the ears, speech problems, and confusion. He developed post-traumatic lumbar disc disease and sustained herniated discs.

The trucker eventually had to undergo emergency surgery for his brain anomaly. The procedure proved unsuccessful and he had three more surgeries.

According to the plaintiff’s injury attorney, the defendant attempted to blame the truck driver for parking his truck close to the business entrance, neglecting to inform the defendant about the truck breakdown, and neglecting to set up a reflective triangle. says that the injured truck driver, whose initial workers’ compensation claim over his work injuries was denied, will now also receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Truck drivers can get injured on the job. Not only are they likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, but they may be able to obtain Chicago personal injury recovery from liable third parties.

Virginia trucker with brain defects settles crash suit for $2.5M, All Business, December 21, 2009

Truck Driver with Brain Injuries Earns Workers Comp, Lawyers and Settlements, January 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Chiari Malformations, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Workers' Compensation, Justia

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